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Description/history of ACES

The Associated Conjurers of East Sussex (the "ACES") was founded in 1992 by Mark Worgan, Robin Toft and Tony Richards to get away from the red tape and rules that could possibly hinder future growth in the art of magic. It was formed with a desire to be run by the members for the members. Everyone has a say in how the club is run including programme ideas. Annual Dinner menus and venue and as a democratic club each officership of the committee is voted for each year by all members. All members are encouraged to participate in theme nights, lectures, charity shows and public performances to increase their knowledge and confidence.

Members include full time professional magical entertainers, semi-professionals, jugglers and circus performers (who have a keen interest in magic), hobbyists, enthusiasts and collectors with ages ranging from mid teens to mid 80s - one member having been an IBM member for over 50 years! All full members are required to complete an audition after 3 visits to the club. This is not to assess standard but just to ensure that our members show a genuine interest in the art and that of performing it. We don't just want people to come along and learn the secrets!

The club runs 4 competitions each year. The Tom Hooper Close-up Competition, the Tony Richards Memorial Shield (for comedy and children's magic) and the Far Away Competition are the most prized with presentations of these taking place at the Annual Dinner each autumn. The monthly Challenge competition runs from month to month with two members being challenged to perform for about 5 minutes each at the beginning of each meeting on any subject at all. Challenges have in the past included saucepans, bananas, cheese and even chicken but it could be absolutely anything and definitely the more obscure the better!

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